Defence Headquarters, 6 August. ‘23 (RBDF): The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, successfully concluded a one-day Maritime Revenue Compliance Task Force Seminar, aimed at bolstering revenue collection in the maritime sector. The event, held onboard HMBS Coral Harbour Base, commenced with a momentous opening ceremony.

Commander Bertram Bowleg, the Master of Ceremonies, introduced representatives from key organizations, including the Department of Marine Resources, the Port Department, the Immigration Department, and the Customs Department. Each organization addressed our marines on critical matters related to revenue loss in the Maritime Sector.

During the ceremony, Captain Coral Harbour, Captain Glenn Mcphee, shared remarks highlighting the Task Force’s mission to research, develop, and recommend strategies to amplify revenue generation from the maritime domain. Further enhancing the seminar’s value, Financial Secretary Simon Wilson expounded on the positive impact this workshop would bring to all participating organizations.

The Customs Department outlined its objectives, encompassing customs procedures for vessel clearance, distinctions between Cruising Permits and Transires, documentation requirements, and Click to Clear procedures. Notably, the department provided details on authorized weaponry and ammunition, vessel and passenger fees based on sizes, and different types of offenses under the Custom Management Act, bolstering the RBDF’s execution of duties at sea.

The Port Department focused on educating participants about vessel registration and licensing, differentiating local and foreign boat/yacht chartering, and the requisite documentation. Members were also trained to identify vessels involved in charter operations, enhancing their proficiency in examining onboard documentation.

The Immigration Department concentrated on procedures for clearing individuals entering The Bahamas via vessels, emphasizing necessary documentation, handling illegal landings, and grounds for denial of entry. Prohibitions and their rationale were elucidated, further equipping the RBDF in their sea duties.

The Department of Marine Resources outlined procedures to handle vessels evading Cruising/fishing permits and engaging in fishing activities. Attendees were apprised of legal consequences, catch limits, permissible fish types, and related fines and fees, optimizing the RBDF’s performance at sea.

With the successful completion of this comprehensive seminar, the RBDF, together with its valued partners, advances its commitment to securing revenue compliance in the maritime sector. This strategic initiative ensures that all agencies are primed to address revenue loss effectively and efficiently.

Commodore Raymond E. King is steadfast in his commitment to fostering enhanced collaboration between the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and local law enforcement agencies, as well as regional partners. Through joint operations and proactive information sharing, these strategic alliances serve as force multipliers, effectively addressing both existing and potential challenges. The RBDF remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in guarding our heritage. We are committed to upholding the highest standards as we protect and preserve the rich legacy that defines our nation

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